Ping Pong

Meet the players



Les D'Arcy - 90, UK - 'The Motivator'

A sports fanatic all his life, Les also competes in triathlon, weightlifting, shot-put and hammer throw. He is starting training for the pole vault but his family is trying to persuade him otherwise. Les had a weekly slot on local radio reporting Table Tennis News, including one dark year in the 1990s when 8 people died at the table during competitions. Two of these were ‘Stan the Bat’ - he had a personalized bat; and ‘Steady Eddie’ – he always got the ball back.

Les carried the Olympic Torch in Summer 2012.




Rune Forsberg - 86, Sweden – 'The Rival'

Arch rival of Les. Rune has reached many finals in his career but never won gold. This year he says will be his last chance.


Sun Lao


Sun Lao - 84, China – ‘It’s the taking part that counts’

Growing up as a tobacco farmer, Sun Lao has seen a lot of changes in China. He is now looked after by his daughters and has a 'very good life'. His daughters want him to cut back on the smoking and drinking but Sun Lao insists that frequent socializing keeps him alive.



Terry Donlon - 82, UK – ‘Walking miracle’

Terry's health lets him down during games. He is often short of breath, he uses a mobile nebuliser which supplies him with pure oxygen during matches. Terry won the lottery but says would give it all up for a new pair of lungs. He never wants to quit playing even though he nearly died in a national final in 2009.



Dorothy DeLow - 101, Australia - ‘You’re never too old’

The oldest competitive player in the world. Dorothy left the UK on a Sydney bound boat in 1911 when she was two – around the same time Table Tennis is said to have been invented.



Lisa Modlich - 86, USA - ‘Competition is everything’

Lisa is an Austrian war bride who married a US soldier from Texas. Born into an aristocratic family in Vienna, Lisa joined the French Resistance and helped smuggle Jews out of Austria, for which she received the Croix de Guerre. She is now married to Joachim (25 years her junior) and lives in Houston, Texas.


Ursula Bihl - 90, Germany - ‘Young people are shitting themselves’

Ursula is the defending world champion after winning in Rio at the age of 87. Ursula says she would much rather ‘die at the table tennis table than in a care home’.



Inge Hermann - 90, Germany - ‘Table tennis saved my life’

After discovering a table tennis table in the basement of the care home Inge has trained her mind and body. China is Inge's first international competition.